Author: Colleen Sydor
Why I picked it up: The title! I just saw it on the shelf at the library and thought the title was interesting.
Cover: Man, this cover is ugly. That colour of blue just... doesn't work, and whatever that ugly orange thing is, it's not a French fry.
Summary: Basically, the MC Eli is always embarrassed by all the crazy stuff her Mom does (like becoming a French fry) and she blames all of her life's troubles on her. As well, her mother becomes pregnant and Eli has a hard time dealing with that. The story is told quirkily enough that it keeps you interested - and laughing. :)
At the beginning, I didn't like this book. A snarky, cynical narrator gets old after awhile - especially when every other book has one. It gets on my nerves.
However, half way through the book... it grew on me, somehow. The snarkiness was still there, but I just liked it. I liked the entire book by the end, actually.
So you know how there's tons of books out there where the MC learns that there's "hidden depths" to people (like in Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough)? Well somehow this book taught me that lesson without actually having it as part of the story at all. At first, you just think that Eli is rude to her mother because her mother is just a bad mother. Then you realize that's not really the problem, just by little hints that the author gives you and things that Eli does. Colleen Sydor shows Eli's hidden depths. In lots of books the MC has an inner problem with something in their life, but the author makes it clear by saying it in a sentence somewhere in the book. In this book, you find out the truth as Eli's coming to stop denying it and her family and friends are starting to realize it - so you find out the truth along with the characters.
Eli herself grew on me as well. Like I said, I usually get sick of snarky narrators that chatter on about stuff throughout the book... but Eli ended up being pretty funny. There's one part at the end of the book where Eli goes to the dentist and refuses to let the dental hygienist take off the lead apron used when you take x-rays because it makes her feel better. (The way it was written it was funny... I realize the way I'm explaining it is not!). She also dresses up in her mother's French fry costume. Just the way she deals with things... I thought it was funny. She's a different character, and I liked that.
Actually, all the characters were pretty unique and I liked the relationships between Eli and all of the rest of the characters. Good books always have a great cast of characters, I find.
Also.... the author is from the same place I am!! There's references to Manitoba in there!! Haha. :) It's always fun to see places I recognize when most books I read are set in the States somewheres.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend this for younger readers (middle school) and anyone who likes a fun, snarky voice and character-based books.
Oh! So I was looking up Colleen Sydor on Google... and found out that she wrote a kids book that I loved when I was younger... called Smarty Pants! Haha. It's such a funny book. I'm guessing that her children's book writing is why the voice of Eli in My Mother is A French Fry is younger. :)
My Mother is A French Fry on Goodreads
My Mother is A French Fry on Amazon.ca
My Mother is A French Fry on Amazon.com
Smarty Pants on Amazon.com